From the Editor: SMB is excited to introduce our PLAYDATE SERIES, where you will get first-hand stories on how playdates go at different locations through town! Read along with our brilliant writers Kate & Renée who tackled the Butterfly Wonderland, located off the 101 at Via de Ventura.
Heading on an outing with a preschooler can seem overwhelming. Will they like it? What if they get bored? So many questions race through my head and they can keep me from actually going somewhere.
Despite these questions, a few weeks ago, I decided to tackle an outing to The Butterfly Wonderland with a friend. Riley – who would usually rather stay at home than do an outing – was thrilled that his buddy Luke would be there! He didn’t even really care where we were going, which took a lot of my worries away.
When we arrived, there was a class of preschoolers in the actual butterfly exhibit, so we decided to do things a little backwards. We visited the sting rays first, then had snacks. This was the perfect pace for the boys. After the class left the exhibit, we wandered in and let them explore.
It was so nice to have a friend to visit with while we wandered. It made my outing so fun. We’ve decided to try a few more outings together over the next few months, so we will keep you posted on how they go!
The first thing my preschooler, Luke, asks me every morning is, “what are we doing today?” He’s always up for an adventure and eager to play with his friends. Because Luke is so active, it can be hard to find activities that are exciting for him and my nine month old, Ryan. Meeting his friend Riley at Butterfly Wonderland was a perfect way to spend a morning. I had the baby in my Ergo – you have to leave your stroller outside the butterfly arboretum – so I had my hands free, and we were off!
One of Luke’s favorite parts of Butterfly Wonderland is the 3D movie. Some people skip it, but Luke loves it and wants to see it every time. Maybe it’s the glasses? Maybe it’s the 3D? Maybe it’s the repetition of the same story each time? Luke watches it in amazement, pointing out the huge monarchs and reciting the cycle of metamorphoses. I’m really impressed with how much he retains from the movie. Maybe we have a future scientist on our hands!
The exhibits are hands-on, giving the kids a chance to explore, see things up close, and even touch in some areas (like the sting rays). Besides the butterflies, the boys had a great time checking out the ant farm, searching for the queen bee, and looking at the scorpions and spiders with a black light.
Being new-ish to Scottsdale, it’s so much fun to explore new places – and it’s even better with a friend. We’re looking forward to our next playdate.